Although travel should be easy and accessible for everyone, the sad fact is that the world remains a dangerous place for women. With the rise of Asian hate crimes, Asian women are even more at risk when travelling alone. Yet, solo female travel destinations are more popular than ever. 85% of solo travellers registered with Overseas Adventure travel are women and more than 60,000 women in the US travelled alone between 2018 and 2019. With that in mind, let’s share some of the safest places to travel alone as a woman — especially if you’re Asian.
Also read: How to Build Up the Courage to Travel Solo for the First Time
Safest places for women to travel alone in East Asia
1. Seoul – South Korea
With a low crime rate and excellent transportation system, South Korea’s capital is one of the best solo trips for women. In Seoul, it’s relatively easy to find people who speak English, so even if you get lost, you can always seek help. Seoul is an intoxicating blend of ancient and modern, with majestic palaces and temples juxtaposed with hip shopping districts and IG-worthy cafes.
For maximum convenience, get a Discover Seoul Pass to gain access to all its major attractions. The pass can also be used on buses, trains, and to get discounts on shopping. There are three options depending on your budget and preference: ₩50,000 for a 24-hour pass, ₩70,000 for 48 hours, and ₩90,000 for the 72-hour one.
Also read: 15 Best Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals in Seoul for Every Budget
2. Tokyo – Japan
Like South Korea, Japan has a low crime rate and is easy to get around in, making it one of the top solo female travel destinations. The country’s capital, Tokyo, is known for being expensive, but don’t let that deter you from your dream solo adventure. To save on accommodation, check out vacation rental options and capsule hotels which would be perfect for lone travellers unable to split costs.
There’s almost too much to see here, so strategize and pick the places most suited for you. Foodies visiting Tokyo should head to Tsukiji Market to enjoy fresh sashimi and sushi at affordable prices. Pop culture nerds would love the city’s Akihabara district, where you will find a dizzying array of anime and game stores, as well as unique themed cafes. If you’re interested in heritage, visit the city’s historic shrines like Senso-ji and the Kanda Shrine, which have been used for Shinto worship since the Edo period. The vast array of choices makes Tokyo one of the best solo trips for women who want a bit of everything.
Also read: 10 Best Airbnb Homes & Vacation Rentals in Japan for the Trip of a Lifetime
3. Taipei – Taiwan
Taiwan is one of the best places for women to travel alone, having crime rates that are among the lowest in the world. The nation’s capital, Taipei, is well-connected by public transport; all you need to get around is a smartcard like the Easy Pass or iPass. These smartcards can be used on trains and buses, as well as at retail stores that accept them as a mode of payment.
Start off your solo trip by seeing Taipei 101, the first skyscraper in the world to exceed a height of 500 metres. Eat your way through the city’s night markets and stroll down the charming 18th-century Bopiliao Old Street.
If you’re yearning for a green escape, there is the Yangmingshan National Park, which is just a short bus ride from Central Taipei. Once you get there, you can hike up Mount Qixing, Taiwan’s tallest mountain, and then marvel at steaming fumaroles.
Also read: 8 Budget-Friendly Airbnb Apartments in Taipei for Your Next Trip
Safest places for women to travel alone in Southeast Asia
4. Hanoi – Vietnam
Though it is often overlooked when discussing the best solo trips for women, Vietnam’s capital is generally a safe place for travellers. Violent crimes against tourists are rare and most locals are friendly.
Hanoi has a wealth of cultural attractions, so take your time to delve into them. The city’s Old Quarter exudes an eccentric charm with its narrow alleys, quaint shophouses, and medieval architecture. The late Gothic St. Joseph Cathedral is also found here. The church is dedicated to Vietnam’s patron saint and resembles Notre Dame in Paris.
To understand Vietnam’s pre-colonial past, visit the Temple of Literature, an 11th-century Confucian temple dedicated to the nation’s scholars, and the Ngoc Son Temple at the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake, which honours three important figures in Vietnamese history. Afterwards, stop by one of the best cafes in the city to relax and enjoy authentic Vietnamese coffee.
Since Hanoi is a budget-friendly destination, you won’t need to worry about costs much as a solo traveller. A stay in a Hanoi luxury hotel can cost as little as S$200, and meals cost around S$14 per day. Feel free to pamper yourself while staying in this beautiful city, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel alone as a woman in Southeast Asia.
Also read: A 6D5N Itinerary of Northern Vietnam: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Sa Pa
What would a list of best solo trips for women be without Singapore? Being a clean, safe, and compact city-state, Singapore is among the go-to solo female travel destinations in the region. English is widely spoken here and public transport is well-developed so travellers who speak English will have no trouble getting around.
Singapore’s food culture is a dynamic mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisine that will surely impress your tastebuds. There’s no better place to experience it than the island’s numerous hawker centres and food courts, which offer mouthwatering eats at affordable prices.
Of course, the Garden City is more than just a foodie paradise. Go museum-hopping to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s culture, art, and history; some of the must-go museums include the ArtScience Museum, the National Gallery, and the Asian Civilisations Museum.
When night falls, check out the buzzing nightlife at Singapore’s party spots like Clarke Quay and Club Street in Chinatown. These places serve up quality cocktails, chill ambience, and electrifying music, making it a shame to go to bed early when you’re in town.
Also read: The Realities of Being a Solo Female Traveler, as Told By Singaporean Women
6. Bangkok – Thailand
With its gorgeous temples and rich culture, the capital of Thailand will definitely give solo travellers a bang for their buck. It’s one of the safest places to travel alone in Southeast Asia, and easy to navigate with an array of transport options such as buses, skytrain (BTS), subway (MRT), taxis, tuk-tuks, and river taxi boats. Thailand is popular with backpackers and thus ideal for making new friends on your journey.
In Bangkok, you can wander through breathtaking temples like Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew, and snag great deals at weekend markets. Indulge in authentic Thai street food and shop for incredible bargains at Chatuchak Market, the world’s largest weekend market. When the sun goes down, let out your party animal in Bangkok’s nightlife spots like Khao San Road and Soi Cowboy.
If you’ve got extra time, venture out to Khao Yai National Park for a day trip. The park is a three-hour car ride or a four-hour bus ride from Bangkok. Here, you can soak in sparkling emerald pools and be awed by thundering waterfalls.
Also read: 10 Gorgeous Yet Budget-Friendly Bangkok Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals
7. Yogyakarta – Indonesia
A calmer and less congested alternative to Jakarta, Yogyakarta may be the most underrated place in Indonesia. This laid-back city is one of the best solo trips for women, possessing incredible cultural treasures and ancient traditions. Like most of Indonesia, Yogyakarta is generally safe for women. However, remember to pack long pants and a shawl to enter places of worship, which have a modest dress code.
From Yogyakarta, you can take a day trip to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Built in the ninth century by the Sailendra dynasty, this sprawling complex features more than 2,600 relief panels and 500 Buddhist statues. The city is also a centre of traditional batik art and boasts a UNESCO-listed Hindu temple, Prambanan.
One notable advantage Yogyakarta holds is that accommodations in this hidden gem destination are more affordable than those in tourist meccas like Bali. You can choose to be treated like a queen at luxury resorts, or stray off the beaten track at hostels, where you may meet other solo travellers. Have it your way!
Also read: Jakarta to Yogyakarta by Train: An Easy Guide for This Scenic Train Journey in Indonesia
8. Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is seriously underrated for being one of the best solo trips for women. The city is well-served by public transport and English is widely spoken here, making it easy to get around. Women may need to dress modestly when visiting mosques and other places of worship. Other than that, there are fortunately not a lot of restrictions on solo female travellers.
Spend your time here taking in panoramic views from the Petronas Twin Towers, or shop till you drop in the city’s many shopping malls and markets. From Kuala Lumpur, you may also take day trips to the jaw-dropping Batu Caves, a limestone cave complex that houses a magnificent Hindu temple.
Also read: 7 Affordable Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals in Kuala Lumpur
Safest places for women to travel alone in Europe
9. Amsterdam – Netherlands
Don’t let Amsterdam’s reputation as a “Sin City” put you off; the capital of the Netherlands is actually one of the safest places to travel alone. It was ranked sixth on The Economist’s 2021 Safe Cities Index and came in second on a list of the world’s safest cities put together by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection in its 2022 report.
The city has an excellent public transport system, allowing most locals to walk or bike. Even though its official language is Dutch, the vast majority of locals can speak English. This makes it one of the best solo trips for women who worry about getting lost at times.
Amsterdam has a fantastic museum scene, too. The Rijksmuseum alone holds over 8,000 important paintings in its 250 rooms. There is also the Van Gogh Museum for fans of the Dutch master, and the Anne Frank House, where Anne hid with her family for most of World War II. Visitors looking for some fresh air and natural beauty can take a stroll in the Vondelpark, which holds a lovely rose garden with over 70 varieties.
10. Zurich – Switzerland
While Zurich may be on the pricier side, it’s definitely one of the safest places to travel alone for women. Even when walking alone at night, you won’t need to feel afraid as the city has some of the lowest crime rates in the world.
During your trip, you can go window shopping on Bahnhofstrasse, the most expensive retail street in the world. For those who enjoy history, why not explore churches like the Grossmünster and St. Peter’s Church? Those who prefer a relaxing excursion can head to Lake Zurich, a popular place for swimming, picnics, and boat rides. Framed by rolling hills and picturesque towns, the lake is the perfect place to take a break from city sightseeing.
Meanwhile, the public transport system in all of Switzerland is reliable but costly. To save on transport, get a Swiss Travel Pass, which will give you access to the country’s bus, rail, and tram networks.
Also read: 12 Best Airbnb Homes & Vacation Rentals in Switzerland
Safest places to travel alone in North America
11. Seattle – USA
Seattle is among the best places to travel alone as a woman in North America. As a solo traveller, you’re unlikely to feel overwhelmed because the Emerald City has a more relaxed vibe than other major cities like New York City and Los Angeles. Public transport here is efficient and will take you to most major attractions. To get around, purchase an ORCA card from any rail station. After paying the US$3 fee, you need to top up the card before using it on buses, trains, and street cars.
Compared to many solo female travel destinations, Seattle is pretty safe as long as you avoid neighbourhoods generally considered as dangerous. The city and its surrounding suburbs also have a large Asian immigrant population, so Asian travellers can easily find restaurants and other establishments that feel familiar.
Seattle is home to the original Starbucks outlet and Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously-run farmer’s markets in the world. Outdoorsy travellers will be spoilt for choice; the city is surrounded by national parks where you can go hiking amidst untouched forests, alpine fields, and awe-inspiring glaciers. These parks make Seattle one of the best solo trips for women who want to reconnect with nature.
Also read: 10 Best Airbnbs in Seattle You’ll Love to Call Home
12. Montreal – Canada
Having one of Canada’s lowest crime rates makes Montreal one of the safest places to travel alone as a woman. The city is highly walkable and has a superb network of buses and metro trains. Hence, getting around shouldn’t be a problem for solo travellers.
One of Montreal’s top attractions is the Jean-Talon Market, one of the largest open-air markets in North America with over 300 stalls selling fresh produce, flowers, and more. Some specialities you have to try here are lobster rolls, juicy sausages, and oysters. The market is open 8am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, it is open only until 5pm.
Another thing the city is famous for is the cinq à sept: a tradition of getting together at bars between work and dinner. From 5pm to 7pm, many bars in the city offer special promotions to cater to the happy hour crowd. Solo travellers can drop in at the Vandale par le Speakeasy, Arcade MTL, and other popular bars to experience the cinq à sept and make new friends over cocktails and sumptuous local food.
Also read: 12 Best Cities to Live in Canada If You Want a Fresh Start
With that, we round up the list of best destinations for solo female travellers. These are the places where women can definitely feel safe and free to explore. So, readers, which of these destinations would you recommend for solo female travellers? If you’ve got any insider tips on places to travel alone as a woman, do share your thoughts on our Facebook page!
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